As predicted when we outlined the imminent surge in TEPCO CDS nearly two weeks ago, when the utility was trading still in the double digits, we speculated that the Japanese government will have no choice but to step in and rescue the pre-collapse utility. Indeed, that is now reality, with Reuters reporting that "the Japanese government is looking at paying off a portion of the compensation Tokyo Electric Power Co will owe to evacuated residents, local farmers and others directly hit by the emergency at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant." The question we have is how much did Japan bulls such as Buffett purchase in TEPCO stock in advance of this latest pseudo-socialization in which taxpayers once again bail out private shareholders, and just how much of his decision to acquire said stock would have been predicated on the knowledge another taxpayer-to-right pocket transfer was imminent.
PORTUGUESE PARLIAMENT REJECTS GOVERNMENT'S DEFICIT-CUTTING PLAN
PORTUGAL'S PARLIAMENT BACKS RESOLUTION AGAINST GOVERNMENT PLAN
Next up: government resignation, crisis, bail out, etc. You know the drill.
What will happen to the U.S. economy and the dollar in the near term? Will inflation increase dramatically? What is the outlook for gold, and where should you put your money? BIG GOLD asked a world-class panel of economists, authors, and investment advisors what they expect for the future. Caution: strong opinions ahead...
From Market News: "Portugal's President Anibal Cavaco Silva is prepared to accept the resignation of Prime Minister Jose Socrates and is getting ready to call an election to choose a new government, Portuguese daily Jornal Publico reported on its website Wednesday evening....The political instability that would ensue from a collapse of the government, combined with market tensions that have pushed Portuguese ten-year bond yields to a euro-era high above 8%, seem likely to increase the pressure on Lisbon to seek a financial aid package from the European Financial Stability Facility and the International Monetary fund." Look for Portuguese, Irish and all out toxic fallout (pardon the pun) to be bought with impunity by JC Trichet as the entire market goes bidless.
Even as the spin continues by both the media and nuclear energy advocates that the dangers from Fukushima are overblown, calculations done behind the scenes indicate that Fukushima and Chernobyl are actually very comparable in terms of radioactive particulate release, and in some cases, such as Cesium 137, Fukushima is already runrating as a worse catastrophe than Chernobyl. From Reuters: "The release of two types of radioactive
particles in the first 3-4 days of Japan's nuclear crisis is estimated
to have reached 20-50 percent of the amounts from Chernobyl in 10 days,
an Austrian expert said on Wednesday. Based on measurements made at monitoring
stations in Japan and the United States, Wotawa said the iodine released
from Fukushima in the first three-four days was about 20 percent of
that released from Chernobyl during a ten-day period. For Caesium-137, the figure could amount to some 50 percent." In other words, run rating the release of Cesium for a 10 day period, leaked radioactive Cesium is now about 120-150% of what it was during the full blow reactor explosion experiencing during Chernobyl. But yes, aside from the facts, watering the reactor that are certainly melting down (if haven't done so already) should surely have great benefits.
RANsquawk US Afternoon Briefing - Stocks, Bonds, FX etc. – 23/03/11
Judging by the incomprehensible action in both WTI and gold, both of which are surging, it appears the stock market may not have priced in the full impact of Bernanke's Put on the Armageddon. And after all, what disaster, man made or otherwise, can not be circumvented through the printing of a few [...]illion in new linen-cotton forms of monetary exchange.
Several days ago there were a few rather amusing anecdotes in the blogosphere that just because Sprott filed a selling shareholder shelf in PSLV, the ETF was about to crash and burn. What was not disclosed is that in 2011 there have been about 200 comparable shelves filed for public companies, yet nobody called for the imminent anihilation of 40% of the S&P. Stunningly, just because someone requests the right to sell an asset they own when said asset is trading at all time highs, apparently does not mean they intent to exercise said right. To wit: the premium to NAV for the Eric Sprott physical silver ETF just hit an all time record of 23%. We are confident that this is due to JPMorgan being massively long the metal, and also because anywhere one walks these days, physical silver lying on the ground is more prevalent than dog excrement. Also, those who decided to play the premium-NAV compression trade, are advised to promptly close it unless, of course, they are a TBTF bank.
- INTERIOR MINISTER ELI ISHAI SAYS SITUATION DETERIORATING
- ISHAI SAYS ISRAEL MAY HAVE TO ACT IF DETERIORATION CONTINUES
- ISHAI LINKS JERUSALEM BOMBING TO ITAMAR STABBING, GAZA VIOLENCE
- ISHAI SPEAKS ON ISRAEL ARMY RADIO
...Just the wrong kind of record. At just 250,000, this was the lowest annualized new home sales number ever. So on one hand you have a TV clown tell you the housing market bottomed in August 2008, on the other you have a pathological tax cheat Welcoming all to the Recovery, and on the mutated third hand (thank you Fukushima), reality continues to indicate that the biggest depression in history persists without abating.
From Haaretz: "A bomb tied to a telephone pole exploded Wednesday at a crowded bus stop outside the International Convention Center in Jerusalem, just opposite the central station. At least 25 people were wounded in the incident, four of them seriously. All of the casualties have been evacuated to the Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karem. The Magen David Adom emergency services said that there were no fatalities. The blast could be heard throughout Jerusalem and blew out the windows of two crowded buses, No. 74 and No. 14. An eyewitness in the area at the time of the explosion told Haaretz that she heard a loud blast close to the central bus station and second later sirens began to wail and security forces rushed to the scene. Meir Hagid, one of the bus drivers, said he heard a loud explosion as he drove by the site, located near the main entrance to Jerusalem and its central bus station. "I heard the explosion in the bus stop," he said. He halted his vehicle and people got off. He said nobody in his bus was hurt." Reuters adds: "Israeli embassy spokesman in Washington issues correction, says Jerusalem blast not on bus and "apparently not a suicide attack." At last check Israel CDS were rather well bid.
Radiation Level At Fukushima Reactor No. 2 At Its Highest Level Recorded So Far, Neutron Beam Observed 13 TimesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/23/2011 08:52 -0400
Per the Japan Nuclear Agency: the Radiation level at Fukushima reactor No. 2 at its highest level recorded so far. Only headlines for now. And just as the market was starting to buy the endless lies that things are getting better. And some more truthy news from Kyodo: Electric Power Co. said Wednesday it has observed a neutron beam, a kind of radioactive ray, 13 times on the premises of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after it was crippled by the massive March 11 quake-tsunami disaster.
Now that Europe is expected to keel over any minute, starting with the collapse of the Portuguese government, and proceeding right through the bankruptcy of Ireland, the market is starting to once again wake up. The first snooze button: Irish 10 Year bonds just passed above 10%, with numerous stops hit (see chart) for the first time in history. For all those who missed Citi's recommendation to buy Ireland CDS in advance of an event of default, the report can be found here. Said CDS are still a bargain offered at 630, considering they hit 680 in January.
As was first disclosed by Zero Hedge, PIMCO trimmed its Treasury holdings in February to zero. While many speculated that the reason is concern for global inflation, we now have the confirmation courtesy of a rhetorical Q&A with Saumil Parikh released by the Newport asset management giant. In a nutshell: "Setting aside immediate oil shocks, we believe global inflation has cyclically troughed and we see a secular upswing in inflation, which naturally will put upward pressure on interest rates. We see three key global factors as potentially adding to inflation over a long horizon: (i) The degradation of sovereign balance sheets and the structural inflexibility of fiscal deficits. (ii) Emerging markets used to export disinflation to the developed world, but over the secular horizon we see them as exporting inflation. (iii) As populations age, they tend to save less and consume more. Demographics may thus become an inflationary force globally, though possibly this risk will be balanced somewhat by demographics in emerging nations. In the near term, we anticipate most, though not all, global central banks are likely to err on the side of allowing inflation to rise above stated or implied targets during 2011. In the U.S., if the economic recovery sputters, the Fed could expand quantitative easing. But further deficit accommodation would pose inflation risks. Obviously nothing new here, and just a confirmation that in order to preserve the Wealth Effect, Bernanke will be forced to put the global Genocide (And Printing)Effect into overdrive.